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Thursday, July 26, 2012

CycleHome2Home: The beginning

Those on facebook would know by now that I have decided to cycle from home to home (my home in Kommetjie, Cape Town to my parents home Amatikulu, Durban), some 2000 or so kilometres.  When I tell people that often reply to this with a ‘why?’ and just to be cheeky I tell them, ‘The question should rather be, “why not?”.’

We can get so wrapped up in our lives, too afraid to do anything daring, to do anything above the ordinary and unpredictable.  Part of the personal reason for my journey is to intentionally go out and be bold, be confident, be crazy and be alive!  Everybody needs adventure, in whatever form that comes.  We need to take risks, to step into uncertainty, to push ourselves out of our comfort zones, we cannot and must not stay in the zone of predictability where we are able to know and calculate the cause and effect of every move.   We were not created to stay in a safe space, nothing is ever learnt in a world of normality, but rather abnormality! If we were we would not be truly alive! 

The idea of cycling from home to home has sparked the theme Home2Home and this theme will not only be lived out in the journey through me staying in people’s homes all along the way but it will be a part of the message of LifeXchange that I will spread with and through the cycle trip. 

The message:  Through one-on-one mentoring of youth at risk, LifeXchange creates a platform for the mentors to address the fundamental development gaps in the lives of these young people.  Ways to address this stems very simply from providing the natural, committed and loving support that a parent would give to a child throughout their growing years and this is why mentoring is often coupled with the word ‘reparenting’.  From an understanding of ‘parenting’ and a holistic ‘adoption’ of a young person into one’s life and family, the developmental needs begin to be immediately and naturally flow out of that relationship.  What also follows is a supporting network that comes from being in a well rooted family.  These networks ordinarily come from close family and friends, positive adult members in the community, church and school and are a huge contributing factor to our positive development as a young person.  Mentoring a young person at risk provides this same supporting network, a network entirely lacking from their life. 

When the theme of ‘home to home’ came up I spent a lot of time thinking about what is a home, and what distinguishes a house from a home.  When do you call a place a home and not a house?  What is it that a home offers?  And through this I began realising that in its simplest form, this is what LifeXchange’s approach of a Holistic Life Mentoring Process aims to provide in the life of a young person.  Not necessarily an actual building and place, but all the elements of what it means to have a home and to grow up in a ‘healthy’ home environment.